GREENVILLE — It was a night of momentum swings between Wilson Memorial and Riverheads on the volleyball court.
With the match tied at 2-2, it was the Green Hornets who snatched the momentum one last time and never let go, picking up a 25-19, 16-25, 25-22, 22-25 and 15-8 victory over the Gladiators on Tuesday night.
Riverheads had just rallied from a five-point deficit in Game 4 to avoid elimination. A dink by Blake Bartley gave the Red Pride a 25-22 win, forcing a fifth and deciding set.
Rather than folding after letting the lead get away, Wilson came out firing in the finale. Cassidy Davis had a big spike in the middle of a 5-0 run to open the set, putting the Hornets back in control.
“That was crucial,” said Wilson Memorial head coach Lauren Grove of the quick start. “In Game 2, we were down 9-0 at one point. Getting a strong start is always a very important thing.”
An attack from Emma Tomlinson pulled the Gladiators to within 6-3 before Paris Hutchinson answered with a pair of kills on a dink and a spike.
Leading 9-6, Emma Nargi provided two kills as part of a 5-0 run that put Wilson in control. Moments later, Hannah Johnson finished the match with a back row spike that Riverheads could not dig up.
“We didn’t take any momentum with us from the fourth (set) to the fifth, that’s for sure,” said Riverheads head coach Ruth Thompson. “We just can’t consistently hit the ball into the court and it’s a problem.”
With the match on the line in the final set, the Hornets got some big plays from Davis and Hutchinson, who are both just freshmen.
“It was one of those things where they both stayed pretty calm,” said Grove of her 9th-graders. “I keep saying that they’re going to keep getting better and better. You will know their names in the next couple of years.”
Both freshmen made some big plays in the third set that helped Wilson rally from an early 6-1 deficit. Davis had a pair of kills that got the game back even. Then with the score tied at 19-19, Hutchinson delivered a block that put her team ahead for good.
For the match, Johnson led the Wilson Memorial attack with 13 kills and 15 digs. Nargi and Davis combined for 17 kills, while Emma Harrison had a team-high 15 assists.
Emma Casto accumulated 14 kills and five blocks for Riverheads in a losing effort, while Bartley had 13 kills, 21 digs and six service aces. Macey Snyder provided 33 assists and libero Madison Cash had 47 digs.
With the win, the Hornets moved to 6-5 on the season. The Gladiators dropped to 7-4.
The JV game also went down to the wire, with Riverheads rallying for a 2-1 victory.